PDA

View Full Version : Best cheap knives ever??



gic
04-08-2013, 03:30 AM
I, like many people I think, recommend the Victorinox brand when somebody wants the best value knife for the least money, and, (like most of us) think sets are generally a joke - but I was recently blown away after being told about a knife set(!) that turned out to be am insanely good value.

The background is that I was doing some random googling and came across a post in a forum (by someone who was trained professionally), about an amazing knife set he found for less than $100 sold by Sam's club. The guy seemed to know what he was talking about.

More precisely, the knives in the set are Shun Classic clones and consist of a 8" chef, a Santuku a petty, a paring knife and a block. They really do seem like clones: other than that they say Tramontina and being made in Brazil, they look and feel exactly like the Shun classic line - they have a Shun style "damascus" with a VG-10 core.

http://www.tramontina-usa.com/Damascus%20-%20Product%20Info.html

(Tramontina does some excellent mid tier kitchenware - I have their Le Creuset clones and they are an excellent value...).

I bought a set for fun and to practice my sharpening skills. They weren't super sharp out of the box,nowhere near as sharp as a Tojiro or even a Shun but they sharpened up pretty easily to be as sharp as my Tojiro DP's and while I haven't used them long enough to know for sure, so far they seem to keep the kind of edge one would expect of VG-10.

The knife set, while apparently no longer available at Sams club, seem widely available on ebay and Amazon for between $70 and $100.

************************
A postscript: I don't yet know how chippy they will be but I suppose (:- ) ) since they cloned Shun, they will be pretty chippy! (Easily cured by a micro bevel of course.) Still, these knives are unbelievably good for the money, they sharpened up fine and the balance is really nice as well I thought.

franzb69
04-08-2013, 10:36 AM
i've seen these posted on a couple other forums. sounds to be good value for the price. folks on here would not like these. might be great gifts for family and friends though.

gic
04-08-2013, 10:52 AM
Oh I absolutely agree, my Carter they are not :- )

But as beater knives they can't be beat and they do make great gifts. I actually just bought a couple to give as gifts from ebay. They also are great to practice knife sharpening on if you are a relative beginner like me because the steel is pretty good and the price is so low - also if one is a student for example and was thinking of Victorinox, these are a better value think...

Lefty
04-08-2013, 10:57 AM
Best kitchen knife gift I've given was a Sab carbon. Best one I've received would likely be my Misono Dragon. Best knife I've bought for $5 was a Kiwi.

DSChief
04-08-2013, 11:01 AM
Checked out the link, & Immediately got the feeling of deja Vu all over again , the logo was eerily reminiscent of the block print on my Mundial's. And the description on
how the company was founded, being based in brazil & on & on. Could have been written by the same guy sitting at a desk in New York. Am I the only conspiracy nut
or does any one else get the slight whiff of a marketing ploy?

EdipisReks
04-08-2013, 11:54 AM
Tramontina makes a lot of stuff, and has been around for a long time. The tri-ply cookware they make is of good quality and is a good value. I'm not sure what marketing ploy you're thinking of.

Chuckles
04-08-2013, 12:06 PM
I have a Tramontina chef knife at home and it is good. It was super cheep white handled Sam's Club buy almost ten years ago but I still use it at home. Thin, stamped Froschneresque but with more height at the heel.

DSChief
04-08-2013, 12:09 PM
I was thinking the same parent company is pushing product under multiple brands, case in point , those old enough to remember the 70's might remember brands
like Gibson refrigerators, Sears "Hot Point" appliances and Kelvinator appliances. all 3 brands came out of the same building on the south west side of grand Rapids michigan.
all the metal shells came from the same fab shop . all the refer's had the same compressor { assembled & braised on the first floor }. the only difference being which brand medallion was stuck on before packaging .

franzb69
04-08-2013, 12:43 PM
I've handled a couple tramontina kitchen knives, their pro stuff aren't bad. certainly better profile than wusthof, same hardness (the old wusties anyway), same steel, and a 1/3 of the price. so why the heck not? for a budget pro kitchen knife.

tramontina does make a lot of stuff. they were an italian owned company then moved to brazil and they kept making knives there. they make pots, pans, kitchen knives, even machetes and jungle knives. Let's just say they're good value items. I own a bunch of their pots and pans.

i own their made in usa stuff. they say their made in china ones are inferior. they also ship their made in brazil stuff to all over, too.

tramontina's been around since the early 1900s from what i can remember.

Lefty
04-08-2013, 01:01 PM
Mundial aren't exactly terrible for the price, either. If they happen to be the same parent company, who cares....

I have no issue with GM/GMC/Pontiac (before it disappeared), so why not with knives? I don't think this is the case with Tramontina, but if it is, I'm not bothered by it at all. Not to mention, I've read many reviews on their tri-ply cookware, and it gets stellar marks. Just because it isn't on our radar doesn't mean it's crap. I'm glad the OP put this link up, just because it's given another option for what could potentially be a pretty good buy. If I'm not mistaken, Mano has some carbon Tramontinas that he's pretty fond of, and he's a guy who knows a thing or two.

wenus2
04-08-2013, 01:14 PM
Let's not also forget that rebranding is pretty common practice for Japanese knives too.

Good to hear you found something cheap and easy that is of "good enough" quality. I think its important to be able to share better knives with people without having to show them the full Monty.
Not a lot of us were using stamped Walmart knives one day and Shigs the next, it's a progression, so finding a good gateway drug... I mean knife, has great value.

JohnnyChance
04-08-2013, 01:23 PM
I have no issue with GM/GMC/Pontiac (before it disappeared), so why not with knives?

Usually the cars aren't sold with the sales pitch that they were handmade by a sixth generation craftsman, blah blah blah. That's the part of OEM rebranding of knives that is confusing and deceiving.

Lefty
04-08-2013, 01:27 PM
Good point.

dharperino
04-08-2013, 01:43 PM
I just bought a set of the Tramontinas Shun clones for $85 via Amazon and will donate them to our church kitchen. If they are as good as it seems they might become my recommendation for friends who ask me to sharpen their really, really bad knives! In fact, it might be cheaper and quicker to just give them these than spend hours trying to sharpen some obstinate piece of stainless steal crap that grinds down my stones!!

gic
04-08-2013, 04:05 PM
I love the idea of thinking of these knives as gateway drugs to my current addiction :- )


Let's not also forget that rebranding is pretty common practice for Japanese knives too.

Good to hear you found something cheap and easy that is of "good enough" quality. I think its important to be able to share better knives with people without having to show them the full Monty.
Not a lot of us were using stamped Walmart knives one day and Shigs the next, it's a progression, so finding a good gateway drug... I mean knife, has great value.

Timthebeaver
04-08-2013, 04:18 PM
Ersatz Shuns are nothing new. I bought an Evergood 240mm gyuto (VG10 warikomi with stainless, made in Taiwan) from fleabay a couple of years ago, $32. Very good value for money.

MikeHL
04-08-2013, 08:31 PM
CCK cleavers have strong following as a first good cheap cleaver.

As for others has anyone tried the French peasant knife from lee valley ? looks like a good camping knife.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Garden/page.aspx?p=52770&cat=2,40733,40738&ap=1

franzb69
04-08-2013, 11:50 PM
MikeHL, those knives look pretty good to me.

don
04-08-2013, 11:58 PM
CCK cleavers have strong following as a first good cheap cleaver.

As for others has anyone tried the French peasant knife from lee valley ? looks like a good camping knife.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Garden/page.aspx?p=52770&cat=2,40733,40738&ap=1

Ooh...interesting.

The Anti-Chrysler
04-09-2013, 12:03 AM
Best kitchen knife gift I've given was a Sab carbon. Best one I've received would likely be my Misono Dragon. Best knife I've bought for $5 was a Kiwi.
Best kitchen knife I've given as a gift was a Lamson, and a Henckels, both to my 21 year old daughter. If she keeps care of them, she'll get an upgrade.
Best knife I've gotten as a gift is my 270mm Hiromoto AS gyuto. Fabulous knife.

Mitbud
04-10-2013, 12:41 AM
I was wondering is there a French profile knife like a Forschner?

mzer
04-10-2013, 12:51 AM
Back when I was working in kitchens in the early '90s Victorinox was putting out a Sabatier shaped knife which was better finished than anything on the market. I was working in a very French place and it was a cult object in a world of Wusthofs and Messermeisters. Then they went to the plastic handle Victorinox/Forschner things. I might still have one downstairs somewhere.

Mike9
04-10-2013, 01:09 AM
When I give the gift of Knife to someone it's usually a Tojiro ITK, or Tanaka damascus. Tojiros need a trip to the stones immediately, but the payoff is big performance from a tight budget. For the money Tanaka blue steel damascus is hard to beat - takes a wicked sharp edge and hold it long time. Looks purty too.

El Pescador
04-10-2013, 01:43 AM
Best cheap knives ever? Buying a beater and fixing it up,or even better when someone else has done the work for you! One of my favorite knives that I have is a Kochi I got second hand from BST. I recently used a new Kochi and mine blows a new one away!

gic
05-03-2013, 05:13 AM
Just an update: The sam's club auction site is selling them off and the resulting price is usually even cheaper than Amazon or ebay. They are consistently going for between $45 and $50 which with tax and shipping came to a bit under $60 for the extra sets I bought to give away and/or to use as beaters...

Notaskinnychef
05-03-2013, 05:57 AM
online link or just in store?

JPizzzle
05-03-2013, 11:34 AM
I just picked up the Tojiro ITK Bread Knife for $60. Don't think much can beat that for a 10" beast that can do almost anything.

cnochef
05-03-2013, 11:40 AM
How about the Dojo 180mm gyuto with stainless cladding and AS steel?

keithsaltydog
05-03-2013, 11:54 AM
Tramontina also makes a pretty good Machete

jayhay
05-03-2013, 11:55 AM
How about the Dojo 180mm gyuto with stainless cladding and AS steel?

Great knife for the money. The whole AS Dojo line is a terrific value imho.

ayeung74
05-03-2013, 02:24 PM
I bought a basic Cuisinart serrated tomato knife from Ross for like $10 over 10+ years ago and it still cuts through my fruits cleanly. I've never sharpened it, and never give it a thought when tossing it in the dishwasher either. One of the front poking tines snapped off years ago, but I can't find any reason to get rid or replace it. Some things just seem work.

K-Fed
05-06-2013, 08:55 PM
CCK cleavers have strong following as a first good cheap cleaver.

As for others has anyone tried the French peasant knife from lee valley ? looks like a good camping knife.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Garden/page.aspx?p=52770&cat=2,40733,40738&ap=1

I bought one today just to check it out. At the very least it'll make a usable line knife. Ill keep y'all posted when it arrives.

The Anti-Chrysler
05-06-2013, 09:55 PM
Here is my thread on a couple of pretty nice knives I got cheap recently. Very pleased so far.
http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/12048-New-carbon-in-the-mail!

Stumblinman
05-07-2013, 02:13 AM
Without thinking of the German/Brazil history, I always thought it was funny seeing the white handled Tramontinas with the German Steel. It's a cheap knife but the fact it was cheaper to ship the steel to Brazil then to make in Germany always gives me images of sweatshops. Unless that's just some kinda marketing gimmick...

wenus2
05-07-2013, 04:56 AM
I bought one today just to check it out. At the very least it'll make a usable line knife. Ill keep y'all posted when it arrives.

I'll be curious to read that. Looks confortable.

Jmadams13
05-07-2013, 09:16 AM
I have a Ikea Damascus VG10. It was a gift, but was 50$ new. Great great knife. Very shun like in the handle. Takes a great edge, and takes a beating. I actually have the whole set from this line. The only stainless kitchen knives i have, and I love them.

stereo.pete
05-07-2013, 05:11 PM
Anything from the Fujiwara FKH line, cheap and very good for the money.

panda
05-19-2013, 01:56 PM
dexter sani-safe line has to be one of the best values. 10" chefs for $30. last night i sharpened two of them with a don brand tri oil stone (hate these types), stropped on cardboard. got them both to pass the slice tomato without holding it test with see-thru thin slices.

jgraeff
05-19-2013, 04:04 PM
Victorianox are great, dexters makes good stainless as well.

Tojiro may be best bang for the buck over shuns.

lumo
05-19-2013, 05:37 PM
Dexter Russel carbon 10 inch cook's knife. When they were widely available 10+ years ago they only cost $14. I still see them around for $40...easy to sharpen and a pretty thin blade, I probably burned through a little over a half dozen these in my career.

samuelpeter
05-20-2013, 02:03 AM
Any further news or other success stories from the plethora of knives on Global Rakuten?

The Anti-Chrysler
05-21-2013, 09:55 AM
Now that the weather has been picking up around here, I haven't been doing much with knives. Other than cutting up food.

K-Fed
05-29-2013, 01:57 PM
I'll be curious to read that. Looks confortable.

So I've had a little time to play with the "peasant chef knife" from lee valley. Fn'f is good, the handle is rather large though knuckle clearance is lacking a bit. The steel sharpens up nicely and is fairly unreactive for undisclosed carbon steel. The best workout that I've been able to give it so far was on the line while cutting roast lamb racks into portions. It is a great knife for this. The profile really reminds me of a tall boning knife and it's sturdy enough, probably just under 3mm on the spine, that it would do a great job of breaking down chickens into parts for frying/ roasting. I think i've had well over 30 dollars worth of fun with it so I'd say it's a good buy if you think it's a knife that might suit you.